It feels like no conversation can start without talk of the pandemic, of lockdown, and of the changes to our society it has brought. But at the feet of the elephant in the room that features in so conversations nowadays, there are some green shoots starting to appear. From deer roaming across Japanese cities to peregrine falcons swapping cliff edges for the Houses of Parliament, reminders of the natural world are surrounding us in this period of human quietness. How apt it is that the theme of World Environment Day this year, celebrated on June 5th, is biodiversity.
World Environment Day has been celebrated every year since 1974, engaging governments, businesses and people to focus their minds on the most urgent environmental issues. Biodiversity and nature touch every aspect of our lives. The food we eat, the places we live and work and the air we breathe are all so closely intertwined with nature. To care for nature is to care for ourselves and each other.
And nature is good for us. Those of us fortunate enough to have access to green space over the last few months have no doubt experienced the value of nature in our lives. The simple pleasure of walking among the trees has never been so important to me. And the science backs it up; studies have shown that just 30 minutes a week spent outdoors can have positive impacts on our mental and physical health.
I am not alone in saying that the current crisis, for all of its tragedy, fills me with a tremendous sense of opportunity. While we must focus on overcoming the effects of covid-19, how we decide to rebuild is equally important. I feel as if we had all-too-easily forgotten about the importance of biodiversity in our lives, but this pandemic has just as easily reminded us how integral to our wellbeing nature can be.
This moment creates an opportunity to build back better. The rebuilding of our economies can be a moment to re-imagine a better future grounded in resilience. It can be difficult to imagine how one person, or one organisation, can take positive steps to integrate nature back into our lives. However, in the Decade of Action, I believe that every one of us can do more to protect our world from further biodiversity loss.
On Wednesday I talked to colleagues from the University of Oxford and Prologis in a webinar to encourage discussion around how our economy can better balance business value and sustainability. It is a great watch, and I’d urge you to join us for our future webinars.
Companies who work with The Planet Mark already do great work in helping nature thrive. Our goal is to bring the best out of people, technology and nature. Through our partnerships, we aim to inspire people and help them take action with our certification. Every member is offered the chance to visit The Eden Project to learn from the world–leading educational charity, and each year they attain certification, they work with rainforest communities to half deforestation and climate change through Cool Earth. But it is essential that we all do more to protect the natural world that we are so interdependent with. At The Planet Mark we know that by uniting the very best of people, technology and nature, we can radically reduce carbon emissions, transform communities and ultimately halt climate change.